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Monday, April 15, 2013

Spiced Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Kale Pockets

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 Remember when I made those fancy hot pockets? I haven’t stopped thinking about them and as soon as the kitchn posted a recipe for these sweet potato and kale pockets with lentils and caramelized onions, I knew they would be a hit in our household.
My sister Renatta is doing a school project on super foods and happened to be over for dinner the night we had these. She kept proclaiming that these were the perfect dinner because they were full of so many super foods! I’m not sure what is all required to consider something a super food, but there’s no denying the health benefits of kale, sweet potatoes, onions, and lentils, meaning these little pockets pack a nutritional punch.
The best thing about these is that you can make a batch for the freezer and then pull them out to reheat when you’re ready to eat. The crust isn’t quite as crispy as they are straight from the oven, but I’m willing to overlook this when all I have to do is thaw and reheat them to get dinner on the table. Forgo the hot pockets in lieu of some super (pseudo) hot pockets! 

One Year Ago: Tiramisu Ice Cream
Two Years Ago: Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Three Years Ago: Breakfast Bulgur

Spiced Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Kale Pockets
adapted from the kitchn

-1 1/2-2 pounds pizza dough (I used sourdough pizza crust made with half whole wheat flour)
-4-5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-4 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
-2 large onions
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp ground allspice
-1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
-4 cups water
-1 bunch kale, tough ribs and stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
-1 tsp salt

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash until mostly smooth and set aside.
2. Thinly slice one onion. Warm 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until onions are caramelized.
3. Dice the other onion. Add 2 tbsp oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Add the cinnamon, cumin, and allspice. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
4. Add the kale to the pot with the salt. Cover and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, until lentils are soft (not mushy). Taste and add salt if needed. With a slotted spoon, transfer the lentil mixture to a bowl (leaving cooking liquid in pot).
5. Preheat oven to 450F. Roll out small pieces of dough (the size of about 1 1/2 golf balls). Top one half with a little bit of sweet potato, caramelized onions, and lentil mixture. Fold top half of dough over filling and pinch ends to seal together. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
6. Cut 2-3 slits in each pocket and brush with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. If freezing, allow to cool on baking sheet then place baking sheet in freezer until frozen. Then, wrap each individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or oven, or eat at room temperature.